Show Up For Yourself & For Others - Taking the Hire Road with Leah Shaver and Eileen Dabrowski

During this Taking the Hire Road episode, Leah Shaver, President and CEO of the National Transportation Institute, joins Eileen Dabrowski, Director of Learning, Development, and Marketing at ReedTMS Logistics.

Dabrowski, like many in the industry, entered trucking without prior experience. “All I knew about trucks,” she recalls, “was their size and presence on the road.”

A call from Jason Reed, CEO of ReedTMS, redirected Dabrowski from higher education in 2016. Her roles in academia—crisis counselor, victim advocate, and emergency responder—equipped her with transferable skills for the trucking industry.

At ReedTMS, Dabrowski established the company’s comprehensive training program for all new employees, regardless of role. Interacting with diverse individuals and their varied responsibilities motivated her to grasp the nuances of various industry positions.

She noticed a prevalent misconception, highlighting that “recruitment and working with truck drivers are often seen as entirely separate tasks.”

“A recruiter should comprehend the experience of being a truck driver,” she argues. Without this firsthand understanding, recruiters may fail to grasp the unique pressures drivers endure.

Despite drivers facing common challenges, there’s no universal self-care approach.

“Self-care is personal and subjective,” Dabrowski asserts, emphasizing it should be defined by individuals rather than dictated by their company, vehicle, or job.

To initiate a self-care routine, individuals should reflect on their identities—cultural upbringing, relationships, and responsibilities.

These defining aspects are often hidden from others. Hence, transparent communication between employees and employers is crucial for implementing self-care practices.

“Growing up, I was taught to conceal vulnerability as a sign of weakness,” Dabrowski recalled. “But I've come to respectfully disagree with that notion.”

“How can we strengthen and support each other,” she questioned, “if we avoid discussing our human experiences?”

Shaver and Dabrowski acknowledge the misconception that self-care is selfishness. In an industry that operates 24/7/365, implementing and advocating self-care requires “self-awareness and empathy,” Shaver emphasizes.

Leaders, according to Dabrowski, should be attuned to their empathy reserves. She advises against scheduling all one-on-one meetings on the same day, ensuring full attention to everyone.

Adhering to these principles reflects positively on a business. “Referrals matter,” Dabrowski asserts. “Happy employees share their experiences, amplifying a company’s reputation.”

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